Armadillos are the only mammals covered by a shell. But it’s different than a seashell or a tortoise shell. An armadillo’s shell is made up of bony plates covered by thick, hard skin.
The “armor” isn’t the only protection this armadillo has from predators. When a frightened three-banded armadillo curls up into a ball, it often leaves a space open. If a predatorAn animal that hunts and kills other animals for its food. puts a paw or nose into that space to try to pry the armadillo open, the little animalAny living thing that is not a plant. Most animals can move about freely. All use plants or other animals as food. All have sensory organs. slams its shell shut—ouch!
A three-banded armadillo uses its long, sharp front clawsThe fingernails of an animal, such as a bear or cat. They help to grab prey. In birds, they're called talons. to dig into termite mounds to feast on the insects inside. It also uses them to break open tree bark to snack on beetle larvae hiding inside. Those clawsThe fingernails of an animal, such as a bear or cat. They help to grab prey. In birds, they're called talons. are terrific tools!